The French Triathlon: Road Ride the D122, Hike the Cap de la Posterie, Have a Great French Meal, Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert, France

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Today I was torn between a good solid hike and visiting a road I have had my eye on for a couple years. I’m only in this village for one day……I decided to get an early start and do both!!!

The sun was finally in full force today and helped ease the early morning chill.

About 10 kilometers from my hotel is the start of a road know as the D122. Rich and I had done a ride north of here a couple years ago and I vowed to return and get er done. Covid hit shortly after so it has taken a couple years to get it checked off the list. As you can see, it’s little more than a single lane….. here goes!

It started off with some pretty solid climbing and I was soon looking over the coastal plains below.

Up, up and more up.

A big transmission tower of some kind so I it seemed I was going to get a little extra suntan today. More on this tower later.

Finally, I crest over the ridge and this is the view from whence I came.

On the other side, my first glimpse of Pic St. Loup!!!!! Nicole and I climbed it two years ago, check that out here. That is sure fire evidence that I am close to my French home!

More road pictures, just as I had suspected based on my research, D122 is cycling heaven!

Colors and old buildings.

The top of the climb! Only 560 meters above sea level but I started at basically 200 feet. It’s one of the nice things about the climbs in this region, the summits are relatively low elevation so the late fall weather is fantastic, even on the tops.

Looking the other direction…… oh this is going to be fun!!!!!

Built right into the cliffs.

Yeah baby!!!!

I kept having to stop the decent to take pictures. This one is my favorite of the day.

About the only traffic I saw all day.

Again, looking back from whence I came.

She is no Ruby but my velo does a fine pose.

Around another corner and I threw out the anchor to stop and get this photo of a hill top village. Pegiarolles-de-Bueges to be exact. I ultimately will end up in the valley just behind and to the right of Pegiarolles, then climb back up and over the ridge to the right back to the River Herault.

Now a few kilometers later and I am looking up at that village.

This is the exact spot that I stopped with Rich 2 years ago and eyed this route. Check out that trip report here. Actually, as I recall, I stoped but Rich kept going. We came down this road to the left and kept going. Today, I came down the road to the right and went back up the road to the left…..both of which are the D122.

Looking down on Saint Jean-de-Bueges, one of the prettiest villages in France!

Same village just higher up the climb.

That is a hairpin turn! One car passed me during the entire climb. In the fall of the year, these roads feel as they were just put here for me to bike on!

Finally, up over the ridge and back down to the Herault River.

Transition!!!!! I grabbed a ham and goat cheese sandwich, my hiking stuff, and headed out for a hike!

This is actually an ancient road to a fortress at least to begin with.

That looks to be the old fortress.

Looking back up the gorge above St Guilhem.

Now, looking back down on Saint Guilhem, I haven’t taken any pictures of the town and posted them here. Check out my blog from three years ago for that…..here. St. Guilhem is a bit touristy and if you want to see touristy photos, try googling it on line too. It’s a super beautiful village but easily accessed by tourists, even late in the year.

These bushes are everywhere and they are on fire!!!!

From higher up the mountain, you can see the coastal plains of which I rode out earlier today making the loop to the D122.

Finally, near the top, I wondered if this were a prominent peak….. probably not but I should check Liste de Jacque. Liste de Jacque is the lesser know French brother of John from List of John…..

On the way back down, I realized that I missed photographing the obligatory plus sign.

Again, St. Guilhem from above.

And in the distance, you can just make out the big red and white tower from the ride….circle closed!

The third leg of the French triathlon is still to come but I must say, I’m a bit tired!! Tomorrow, I roll into Lauret, my French home village. Think I will take it easy and plan a rest day on Sunday. Stay tuned!

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